Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wrote this one looking out my office window thinking about the weekend to come. I like this one, too, because when I am in my garden, time really does stand still. I am completely baffled when it gets dark? What happened to lunchtime?

The 'Kan EWA

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The group over at HBO is reading 'Water For Elephants'. I suggested this book because I loved the incredible balance of narrative and dialogue. The story is, despite the degradation and poverty of the American Great Depression, quite hopeful. It's about freedom and captivity. Here is a passage, my favorite of the book, that moved me deeply:

"The food and bedding for the animals arrives shortly thereafter, in wagons rather than trucks. When we cart the hay into the stable tent, the horses nicker and rumble and stretch out their necks, snatching mouthfuls before it even hits the ground.

The animals in the menagerie are no less happy to see us--the chimps scream and swing from the bars of their dens, flashing toothy grins. The meat eaters pace. The hay burners toss their heads, snorting, squealing, and even barking in agitation.

I open the orangutan's door and set a pan of fruits, vegetables, and nuts on the floor. As I close it, her long arm reaches through the bars. She points at an orange in another pan.

"That? You want that?"

She continues to point, blinking at me with close-set eyes. Her features are concave, her face a wide platter fringed with red hair. She's the most outrageous and beautiful thing I've ever seen.

"Here," I say, handing her the orange. "You can have it."

She takes it and sets it on the floor. Then she reaches out again. After several seconds of serious misgivings, I hold out my hand. She wraps her long finger around it, then lets go. She sits on her launches and peels her orange.

I stare in amazement. She was thanking me. "

The need to be understood, and loved, is universal.

The 'Kan EWA

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I wrote this one inspired by the syringa that was blooming in my garden. The syringa is blooming now at Bellemaison and I always feel that it is a special, secret gift to me so I remember. Syringa is the Idaho state flower and is everywhere in Idaho. There is absolutely nothing in this world like it or even similar. It is very special. Like the huckleberry. Come to think of it, that's one really special thing about me: I am from Idaho.

The 'Kan

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This was the initializing post, written at PDX Pup's kitchen table in NoPo. Soooo much change in two years....

The 'Kan EWA

Monday, June 25, 2007

Well, it's a pretty chic thing these days. Celebrating that blog anniversary. But I was in Italy last year on my first blog anniversary so this really is my maiden blog celebration, even if it's my second anniversary.

As a child, I loved pen pals. Loved 'em! I had some faithful ones but never one as faithful as me as I was always, no matter the pen pal, the last, the final, to write. I began to write other things in high school, poetry, and so I gradually lost that childhood experience of correspondence and expression that I had so enjoyed. So as an adult, I come to an odd place in the road and I can't tell for sure why it's odd and where I am. It's takes me the better part of two years but then I figure it out: it's odd because I have been here before only under different circumstances. I know this place! It's really changed but it's the same place, I'm positive. It's the pen pal place only now they call it a blog. A blog!

The last time I was blogging was in my bedroom at the house my dad built for my mom when they moved to Idaho after the war. I would sit and scratch away on pretty paper at my little wicker desk and then seal the envelope with a flourish and stamp it and mail it. Oh how I loved laying it all out on paper and waiting to see what came back from far away (Wisconsin!) amazing places. I was the only girl in a family and neighborhood of boys and my amusement and entertainment was created by me, for me. I loved hooking up with these people from all over. Of course, in those days, you hooked up with pen pals through various resources recommended and endorsed by your teacher at school. And little girls wrote to little girls.

These days I correspond with all kinds of people who live much farther away than Wisconsin and who represent a highly diverse slice of life. And I hooked up with them through my blog. I began this blog because I noticed that my children, all adults, corresponded with each other and their friends in a manner that was so different than how I had corresponded with my mother when I was their age. We picked up the phone and talked to each other. Six times a day. We were dead in the water without the telephone. My friends, too. And then my mother died of dementia and there were so many things we never got the chance to talk about and so many things she told me about that I couldn't remember exactly. Her illness was long and slow and we know now that she got sick when she was not too much older than I am now.

So I don't want my children to grieve when they can't remember me. Or remember for sure. I don't want them to have blank pages in their baby books or their instruction manuals. And I want them to know, to know always, that I am with them and that I was in love with them. It was my life's joy and honor to be their mother.

So in the process of making 'Notes From The 'Kan EWA' for my children don't I run into some of the most darling, intelligent, funny, erudite, fascinating people of my entire life? And reconnect with people from my childhood who, once lost, sparkle and shimmer in my consciousness once more? In the process of writing 'Notes From The 'Kan EWA', I live a cherished chapter of my childhood in my beloved hometown all over again. Like deja vu, only with a full tank of gas and a credit card with a high limit.

Blogs. Just never saw it coming.

The 'Kan EWA

Friday, June 22, 2007

She said to me what do YOU Need? I said I need this:

I need somebody who wants to be something; not necessarily be somebody but SOMETHING. What lies in your ambition and what do you want to be?

I need somebody who wants to learn and get better. I went to college with John Stockton and until the day he retired from the NBA with the all time leading assist record, among others, he was working hard .every day. on getting better. His motto was If You Aren't Practicing Someone Else is.

I need somebody who knows that we are Men and Women For Each Other. I need someone who does not need explicit definition of the responsibility we hold for each other. Who have you
stepped up for today?

She said well. I can tell you this: there are no sick days in the Navy. I said That's enough. Let's begin.

The 'Kan EWA

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Mugs Have Gone Up!
The 'Kan EWA

a former CPA
just one tax season too many
The 'Kan EWA

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Chow Nation tells me that the inboxes are lit up with questions regarding the Lion Cuts. They say clarification is needed, especially since that whole thing with Paris Hilton. Whatever that means. One final thing from them: despite their new found wild celebrity, they have not newly found Jesus but remain practicing Catholics and relish and delight in the body and blood of Our Lord weekly. Those darn Chows.
The 'Kan EWA

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best of Kalaloch 2007

Best Dinner
Nominees: Copper River Salmon, flank steak, cheeseburgers
Winner is: Flank Steak
Honorable Mention: Potato Salad
Comments: got the salmon in Des Moines and it was straight fabulous, planked on an open camp fire. And the sentiment was run away wild for the cheeseburgers, made with ground sirloin and grilled onions. Total yo! Factor. And the potato salad, the potato salad, a whole turkey roaster full, vaporized. Potato salad. But in the end, And in the end, it was the steak, carefully soaked in soy sauce, lemon juice, and minced garlic all day, cooked hot over an open flame that took the day. The night. One. Word.

Best Movie

Nominees: Oceans’ 13, Inside Man, Casino Royal
Winner is: Oceans’ 13
Best Line: “The nose plays.”
Comments: Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee and Daniel Craig. It was a damned fine movie week.

Best Unexpected Great Moment
Nominees: guy in ‘82 Chevy S10 pickup flipping us off in Aberdeen traffic, feeding the crows, watching the eagles fish, the big cedar
Winner is: Guy in pickup flipping us off
Comments: although watching the eagles was flat thrilling the guy in traffic just cracked us up royally. Damn Tourists in their fancy cars.

Best Past time

Nominees: cooking, watching the waves, dominoes, scrabble
Winner is: cooking
Comments: Cooking in our DNA and we do it no better on an open fire where utilitarianism becomes the philosophy of universal value and time honored tradition.

Best Dressed
Nominees: British metro-sexual, Aberdeen locals in camou, lion cuts!
Winner is: lion cuts!
Comments: The Chows took all the love this week. They were the Rock Stars in collars.

Best purchase
Nominees: Converse low cut Chuckies, yellow fleeces, Mount Rainier National Park Starbucks mug
Winner is: Yellow Fleeces
Comments: We always buy trip jerseys for the team and these were on sale for $15 apiece at the General Store. They are hott.

Best Adventure
Nominees: Chasing the Chows down the road, watching high tide, Beach 4
Winner is: Beach 4
Comments: Not Disney, not Vegas, not anybody or anything can complete with Mother Nature for true o*my*gosh*did*u*see* that????*stuff. Entertainment. Wonder. You gotta love it. Imagine the IPO if Mother Nature decided to license and sell her stuff.

Best Advice from the locals
Nominees are: Wilderness Bob, Mike the Waiter, Chinese waitress
Winner is: Wilderness Bob
Advice: King Salmon start biting when the rains start in October

Best New/Old Observation
Home is where the heart is

Best/Worst Reentry Moment

Wall of mayonnaise at Safeway. Bronx Boy nee Southwark Lad experience a serious stomach roll and a huge wave of nausea

Best shopping moment
AK 47s in the case at Trustworthy Hardware in Forks

Louise Cobain
On Location
Forks, Washington

Sunday, June 10, 2007

We’re watching the eagles fish in the ocean in front of our cabin this morning, having spent 10 days here at Kalaloch in the Olympic National Forrest. People whine about the rain, the sodden skies and the cold water on the Washington coast but if we’re being perfectly honest, outside of British Columbia, the Washington coast is the only place in the universe where you can walk your dog on the beach and watch the ospreys’ nest in the old growth timber 100 yards off the surf as eagles soar overhead. Let Southern California have Laguna and Huntington, here we wear fleece on the beach instead of bikinis, drink coffee not beer as we barbecue, and avail ourselves of all the culture Aberdeen, Washington has to offer.

We were in Aberdeen last night, not being the kind of people that would ignore the opening of Oceans’ 13, despite our remote locale. In a wildly ill-advised move, we headed to the King’s Wok Buffet (New York Style) for Chinese food. Oh my. Did we have the plastic deep fried chicken and shrimp in the sweet sauces with 25 grams of trans fat in each bite? We did. We had egg foo yung with the brown gravy, kept hot with a light so as not to congeal right before our very eyes. We drunk called our friends, that party tradition dating back to the days at IDAHO when friends went home from the bars after they closed and called each other at home to say a special good night. Our friends in the new millennium showed proper respect at hearing from Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and someone named Louise Cobain, whom we don’t really know but who is wickedly funny. Whew. None of us have eaten such bad, naughty delicious food in years and years.

And for culture, there might not be more anywhere at all, block for block, than in Aberdeen. And it’s readily accessible. We walked right into the movie, no lines, no pre-purchase, sat down and waited for the locals to come to this highly touted summer movie event. All seven of them did come at the last moment, but never fully appreciated our take at the movie, particularly when we all went horizontally hysterical over the line “Danny, Cars are driving in and out at all hours. Doors are slamming. Linus is downstairs crying. Tell me what everyone else seems to know.” We thought it was funny.

We love Aberdeen. We love the saw shops, pawn shops, two Les Schwab truck centers, and are pretty blown away at the diversity of the camou. Completely remarkable. As the sign says on the way into town, “Come As You Are.”

So here now is the good bye fete from the beaches of Kalaloch, a family specialty cooked in the dutch oven over a fire on the beach

Heart Attack Mac

8 oz elbow macaroni

8 oz sour cream

2 c cottage cheese

8 oz cream cheese

1 small onion, chopped

S & P

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cook macaroni as per directions on package. Drain. Combine with other ingredients, except cheddar, in same cooking pan and season to taste. Line dutch oven with foil and spray foil with non-stick pan preparant. Spoon the macaroni mixture into the dutch oven and top with cheddar cheese.

Bake in covered dutch oven with 10 gray coals under the oven and 20 gray coals in the lid. When fully cooked, macaroni will bubble around the edges and soufflĂ©. Don’t undercook. Serve with Pollock salad.

Pollock Salad

1 bag iceberg lettuce mix

1 bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing

2 good handsful feta cheese

2 good handsful croutons

Cut top off bag with knife. Combine all ingredients, using full bottle of salad dressing under advisement. Mix well with hands. Serve with icy beer to mitigate effects of dirty hands. If you are celebrating wildly, serve Heart Attack Mac and Pollock Salad with grilled hot dogs. It’s a 100% impressive meal.

Louise Cobain
On Location
Forks, Washington